Buyer for seven Paul Simon stores but no reprieve for Worthing

ADMINISTRATORS for homeware retailer Paul Simon have sold the business and assets of seven stores –but the Worthing branch will still close.

Deloitte announced the sales on Thursday but maintained eight earmarked for closure, including Worthing’s store, would still close.

The store has now closed.

Deloitte partner Lee Manning said: “We are pleased to have some good news during the administration of Paul Simon.

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“However, this is not a sale of the brand and we will see clearance sales at the closing stores.

“This market remains challenging, especially for out of town retailers, and the increasing importance of online sales caused an erosion of margins.”

The administrators will continue to trade the remaining 30 stores while seeking a buyer for all or parts of the business as a going concern.

There were originally 50 leasehold retail stores.

The seven stores already purchased were obtained by Lewis Home Retail.

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Mr Manning said the store had encountered difficulties in the recession, while online competition had improved.

He said: “‘Like many other retailers, Paul Simon has been hit hard by the uncertain economic environment.

“In addition, its core business has been undermined by the increasing importance of online sales causing an erosion of margins.

“This was compounded by the impact of the recent widespread flooding which restricted many customers’ access to several stores.”

He added: “These issues made an element of the store portfolio unprofitable and led to a projected imminent cashflow deficiency and resulted in administration.”

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